Before we discuss the ramifications to society of the passing of the so-called same-sex marriage legislation, it is important to first understand how this legislation came about. This is relevant because the same process will be followed in further efforts by homosexual activists to achieve more advantages and rights in Canada.
I THE CULTURAL WAR
Homosexual activists began a cultural war in 1990 to gain social and legal acceptance in our society. The objective of this cultural war was to integrate homosexuality into the mainstream and to silence opposition, so that homosexuality would not be regarded as a moral behavioural choice, but as a reasonable and accepted human right. In this undertaking, the activists have been stunningly successful.
(a) Thousands of Years of Moral Law Have been Overthrown by Activists
The spectacular success of the homosexual movement to win this cultural war is evidenced by the fact that in less than two decades homosexuality has moved from “the love that dares not speak its name” to become today, an accepted part of public life. In achieving this, thousands of years of moral law have been overturned. A recent example of how successful this cultural war has been is that the openly homosexual Ontario Minister of Health, George Smitherman, felt comfortable publicly calling on homosexual physicians to settle inOntariowhere their sexuality would be respected, and also demanding that the health care system adapt itself to the special needs of the homosexual community.
This major cultural change inCanadawas achieved by a plan of action conceived by two homosexual men – both graduates of Harvard, Marshall Kirk, a researcher in neuro-psychiatry and Hunter Madsen, a public relations consultant. They attended a meeting in February, 1988 inWarrington,Virginia, attended by 175 of the leadingUShomosexual activists in which they set out their plan to establish a new homosexual agenda. This plan formed the basis of their book, After the Ball – How America will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s, published in 1989 by Penguin Books. Their plan, simply put, called for homosexuals to repackage themselves, not as a promiscuous sexual minority, which they still remain, but as mainstream and an important, integral part of society.
To accomplish this, the authors of the book insisted that homosexuals must hide from public view their sexual acts, promiscuity, virulent pathologies, histrionics and narcissistic behaviour (the authors words). Instead, homosexuals would, under the new imagery, be portrayed as victims, in need of protection so that straights would be inclined, by reflex, to adopt the role of protector towards them.
Henceforth, all public presentations on homosexuals would show them to be just like everyone else, as mere conventional young people, middle aged women and older individuals of all races, demanding equal treatment, and include as well, depictions of “normal” parents and straight friends who unconditionally accept homosexuality. As a result, in order to mainstream the homosexual image, pictures of mustachioed leather
men, drag queens, sexual exhibitionists or masculine women were to be hidden from public view for the time being, until such time as homosexuality had been mainstreamed.
Homosexual activists were also advised to “muddy the moral waters” so as to undercut religious opposition to homosexuality. This was to be achieved by depicting those who resist the acceptance of homosexuals on religious grounds as backward, repressive, hateful, and intolerant individuals, out of step with liberty and self-fulfillment. Opponents of the homosexual agenda were to be shown as proponents of hatred and intolerance, rather than as what they really are — individuals acting on their genuine beliefs, based on theological and moral principles. In short, those who oppose the normalization of homosexuals were to be presented as dangerous, narrow-minded, bigoted people, to be treated with ridicule and contempt.
Fifteen years after the publication of After the Ball, the success of the homosexuals’ plan of action has become readily apparent. It is important to note that the same process of portraying homosexuals as a victimized minority legitimately deserving human rights protection is currently being applied to obtain further rights in the homosexual journey to overtake society’s resistance to their behaviour.
II THE POLITICAL AND LEGAL WAR
Despite the success of the intense public relations campaign to change Canadians’ perception of homosexuality, it was essential to provide legal and political back-up to ensure that this cultural change had the force of law.
This was easily accomplished inCanada, where, unfortunately, there is a seedy intertwining of our judicial and political system. This legal/political partnership has enabled a mere handful of individuals to force same-sex marriage on the entire country, against its will – all in the name of fairness and equality rights.
(a) Political War
In this endeavor, the current Liberal government inOttawahas been more than a willing partner. The Liberals set about assisting and enhancing the cultural war by first passing incremental legislation, building up finally to the same-sex marriage bill. For example, in 1996, the then Minister of Justice, Allan Rock, amended the federal Human Rights Act to provide protection on the grounds of sexual orientation, which positioned homosexuals as an identifiable victim group requiring human rights protection.
This protection had already been included in the provincial Human Rights Acts, beginning with theprovinceofQuebecin 1977. By 1999, onlyAlbertadid not include sexual orientation protection in its human rights legislation. This was remedied by the Supreme Court of Canada in its decision in the Vriend case in 1999, which forcedAlbertato amend its human rights legislation to provide this protection.
The federal government next moved to widen homosexual rights by its same-sex benefits legislation in 1999 to provide same-sex couples with all the family benefits given opposite-sex married couples. Finally, in 2004, the federal government introduced Bill C-38 – the so-called same-sex marriage bill, which was passed into law. All the legislation was accomplished by way of Parliamentary tricks and anti-democratic
measures which are too numerous and complex to enumerate in this paper. Suffice it to say, the Liberals controlled the agenda, their caucus, and the votes in the passing of this legislation by frequently using unethical methods to do so.
The argument used by the government in introducing this legislation was that it had no choice because of the Charter of Rights, as interpreted by the courts. In short, the homosexual agenda was achieved by the intertwining of the political process with that of the judicial process. The two institutions were unwavering in their determination to force the demands of the homosexual activists on the country.
Politicization of the Judiciary
It is not too bold to state that judicial appointments inCanadahave been put up for sale by successive governments, by Prime Ministers, and Justice Ministers, both Liberal and Conservative – depending on which is in power. The appointment of judges inCanadais a squalid and reprehensible affair since these appointments are used as “pay back” for contributions to their respective political parties. The most recent scandal about the appointment system occurred in the Gomery Hearings, which disclosed that 8 of the 10Quebeclawyers, who worked in various capacities for the Liberal party inQuebecduring the 2000 federal election, were given judicial appointments after that election.
It was also learned that 13 other Quebec judges, appointed since the 2000 federal election, had all donated money exclusively to the federal Liberal Party in the years immediately preceding their appointments.
However, these practices were not limited to theprovinceofQuebec. According to the Ottawa Citizen (May 6, 2005), more than 60% of the 93 lawyers who received judicial appointments in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, after the 2000 federal election, had donated funds exclusively to the Liberal Party in the 3 to 5 year period prior to securing their appointments.
For those of you who may believe I am too critical about judicial appointments, I would like to bring to your attention the following:
Prime Minister Martin and his Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler have been in power for less than two years. During this time, the following individuals have been given judicial appointments.
- Michael Brown, Mr. Cotler’s executive assistant and policy advisor,
- Yves de Montigy, Mr. Cotler’s Chief of Staff,
- Randall Echlin, the Legal Counsel to theOntarioLiberal Party,
- Rosalie Abella, appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She is wife of Mr. Cotler’s friend, Irving Abella. Both Mr. Cotler and Mr. Abella are former Presidents of the Canadian Jewish Congress,
- Marsha Erb, Alberta Liberal fundraiser, is a close personal friend of Cotler’s Cabinet colleague, Anne McLellan;
- John J. Gill, was Co-chair of the 2004Albertafederal Liberal campaign,
- Vital Ouellette, an unsuccessfulAlbertaprovincial Liberal candidate in 1997 and 2000 elections,
Bryan Mahoney, Liberal candidate who lost twice to federal Conservative
- MP Myron Thompson,
- Edmond Blanchard, former Liberal New Brunswick Minister of Finance.
The list goes on.
III THE JUDICIAL WAR
Because of this prejudicial appointment process, many of those appointed believe they are entitled to use their position on the Bench as a political tool to advance the liberal cause which includes extending rights to homosexuals. The judges’ decisions are often based on their own personal philosophies and ideology, rather than on any established legal principles rooted in legal precedent. Examples of this behaviour includes “reading-in” protection for sexual orientation as a right in the Charter (Nesbit and Egan 1999), even though this had been expressly rejected by the Parliamentary Committee reviewing the Charter in 1980. In the M and H decision the Supreme Court of Canada ordered that family benefits be awarded to same-sex partners, the same as those given to legally married, opposite-sex couples.
Same-sex Marriage Legal Challenges
Nowhere has this judicial activism and preference for homosexual rights been more apparent than in the same-sex marriage legal challenges.
These cases all began inCanada’s most liberal courts – BC,OntarioandQuebecin 2001-2002. These legal challenges were generously funded by the federal Court Challenges Program through the federal Heritage Department and its then Minister, Sheila Copps.
Courts typically take at least six months to hand down their decisions, but in these marriage cases, both the BC and Ontario Courts of Appeal managed to bring down their judgments in less than six weeks. Their haste was due to the fact that the House of Commons Justice Committee was also examining the issue at the same time. The House of Commons Committee, however, was hampered by the fact that it had to travel to 12 cities, hear 500 witnesses and deal with over 250,000 pieces of correspondence before it could reach its conclusions. The liberal judges, on the other hand, faced no such hindrances and were free to do their own thing and make their own rules. The courts were anxious to give their stamp of approval to same-sex marriage to avoid the possibility that the House of Commons Committee might reach a different conclusion. In their rush, the judges had no time for analysis, reasoning or reflection on how their decision in support of same-sex marriages would impact on such matters as taxation, inheritance, children, property rights, religion, traditional marriage, divorce, genealogical relationships, medical birth technologies – on all of society as a whole. Rather, the Courts believed it was better to sweep aside the understood definition of marriage that has existed across cultures, religion and time, and hand down their decision without delay without focusing on any consequences to society. In this regard, it is significant that court judgments on same-sex marriage included no reference whatever to any of the evidence introduced by the parties and intervenors to the courts in the cases. Rather, it appears that the Courts reached their decisions in support of same-sex marriage on their own personal ideological and philosophical views – certainly not on reasoned legal principles, arguments or legal
(b) Chief Justice Roy McMurtry of the Ontario Court of Appeal
It should be pointed out here that the major culprit in giving the judicial stamp of approval to same-sex marriage was Chief Justice Roy McMurtry of the Ontario Court of Appeal. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, he had served at one time as Attorney General of Ontario under the Conservative Premier, William Davis. Mr. McMurtry’s actions in the same-sex marriage court challenges were appalling: he showed himself as nothing more than .a politician hiding behind his judicial gown in making this decision. He accomplished this by:
- Insisting the same-sex marriages of the litigants be performed the same day that his decision was handed down, i.e., to take effect immediately. By doing so, Mr. McMurtry deliberately prevented any judicial appeal of his decision and curtailed any meaningful parliamentary debate since same-sex marriage had, by his decision, become a legal reality. These actions enormously strengthened the political hand of those supporting same-sex marriage.
- Ordering the homosexual challenges’ court costs to be paid by the Crown. This meant that the lawyers for the homosexual litigants were handed hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to cover all legal costs in the challenge.Torontolawyer, Martha McCarthy, who acted for several of the homosexual challengers, received $645,000 in counsel fees from the federal government and R. Douglas Elliot, anotherTorontolawyer, who argued on behalf of theTorontohomosexual church, The Metropolitan Community Church, received $409,162 from the federal government. In short, the homosexual activists never paid out any of their own money for the legal challenge, which successfully resulted in the re-structuring of society by redefining marriage. On the other hand, pro-family organizations such as REAL Women of Canada and other pro-family groups, which intervened in all the same-sex marriage cases, had to pay out thousands of dollars from their own pockets to cover their own legal expenses. This created grave financial hardship for them. It was necessary for pro-family groups to become involved in the court cases, however, since there was no other way for the pro-family voice to be heard in the courts, since the federal Attorney General was supporting the homosexual activists in the legal challenges.
- Immediately following the decision in June 2003, Chief Justice McMurtry, together with the other judges involved in the case, flaunted judicial convention by attending a reception sponsored by the Ontario Law Society, in which representatives of the homosexual advocacy groups and the homosexual litigants were feted for their legal challenge of marriage. Chief Justice McMurtry was pictured on the homosexual website, with his arms around the former litigants, warmly welcoming them as friends and colleagues.
A homosexual activist, George Hislop, was a defendant in a 1978 bath house raid in Toronto at the time when Mr. McMurtry was serving as Ontario Attorney General. Mr. Hislop had recently brought a legal challenge demanding spousal benefits from a deceased partner under the Canada Pension Plan. Mr. McMurtry was pictured engaged in close sympathetic conversation with Mr. Hislop at the reception described in 3.
- above on the homosexual website. When Mr. Hislop died in October, Mr. McMurtry was in attendance at a party attended by Mr. Hislop’s friends and family to “celebrate” Mr. Hislop’s life.
In view of the above, why would anyone believe that our judges, and, in particular, Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, were fair and impartial on the marriage issue?
All the forgoing now brings us to the discussion of what is the next battleground for homosexual activists, following the passing of the same-sex marriage case. It will impact on the following issues.
IV THE NEXT BATTLEGROUND
Religious Practices and Use of Religious Owned Properties
(a) Religious Practices
Although Bill C-38 (same-sex marriage) explicitly provides that religious authorities will not be affected by the legislation, this is not the case. The federal government does not have jurisdiction under our constitution, over civil rights which includes freedom of religion. The latter is entirely a matter of provincial jurisdiction under S. 92 of the 1867Constitution Act. The federal government does have jurisdiction over the definition of marriage, (S. 91 of the Constitution Act) i.e., who may enter into a legal marriage, but the provinces have jurisdiction over the procedures or process of marriage. This was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada on December 9, 2004 when it handed down its decision on the same-sex marriage reference case. Thus the provision in the same-sex marriage legislation to protect religious practices is simply without any meaning or significance.
It is up to the provinces to ensure that freedom of religion, which includes the right of churches to determine whom they marry, to be protected. To date, only theprovinceofAlbertahas expressed an interest in passing such legislation. On the other hand, however, the Supreme Court of Canada did indicate, in its December 2004 reference on same-sex marriage that leaders would be protected against the requirement to perform same-sex marriage by the S2 (religious freedom) of the Charter of Rights. We must wait and see.
(b) Religiously Owned Properties
Freedom of religion must also include the freedom of religious organizations to determine the use of their property, i.e., church hall, summer camps, etc. Currently, there are two cases dealing with the issue of church-owned property before provincial Human Rights Tribunals. The first deals with the Knights of Columbus hall in Port Coquitlam, BC, where the Knights refused a lesbian couple the use of their hall to celebrate their “wedding” reception. The decision by the BC Tribunal on this case has not been handed down. Whatever the Tribunal’s decision, we can be assured that the
case is destined for a long journey through the court system.
The second case arose in theprovinceofManitoba, where a Mennonite-owned summer camp was charged with discrimination by a homosexual male choir because the camp refused to rent the camp premises to them. This case is to be argued before the Manitoba Human Rights Tribunal in the early spring, 2006.
In this regard, it may be reassuring to know that pro-family lawyers have devised ways to provide legal protection and defenses to protect religious properties. I presume that the Archdiocese of Toronto has had consultations with its lawyers on this crucial matter. One example is that a written policy must be prepared by individual churches (or the archdiocese itself) to restrict use of facilities, such as parish halls, to church programs and for church members only. Unfortunately, if a church hall is opened up for rental to the general public, and the church refuses to rent out the facilities to homosexual / lesbian groups, this would be interpreted as discrimination against them. Therefore, it is essential that there be a written policy restricting the use of the hall and that this policy be strictly adhered to.
(c) Marriage Commissioners
Freedom of religion cases have arisen inNewfoundland,ManitobaandSaskatchewanin regard to the right of Civil Marriage Commissioners to refuse to marry same-sex couples as a matter of conscience or religious belief. The Commissioners in some of these provinces have had their licenses removed by provincial authorities for their refusal to perform same-sex marriages The BC government, fortunately, has now changed its policy in this regard and now allows marriage commissioners to refuse to marry same-sex couples if it is contrary to their conscience or religious beliefs to do so. The Christian Legal Fellowship has provided lawyers in each of these cases, to assist the Commissioners with the complaints made to their respective provincial Human Rights Tribunals. None of these cases has yet been argued before the Tribunals.
V. CONFLICT OF RIGHTS BETWEEN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS
Even though the Charter of Rights specifically provides as a right, freedom of religion, unfortunately, in every case where religious rights have competed with homosexual rights. Religious rights have been trumped every time. The parade of cases in this regard is numerous. Examples of such cases are:
Brillinger vs. Brockie